5 Techniques to Help You Learn New Healthcare IT Systems

by Nathan Lord on November 12, 2010 · 0 comments

in Healthcare,Vertical Markets

So I’m flipping through the pages of the September edition of Inside Healthcare magazine (I know it’s now November… give me a break) and I ran across an interesting article on 5 techniques that help adults (quickly and easily) learn new technology systems in a healthcare environment. As I read through I thought it was pretty good content to share.

Here’s a little outline of the info. Just some things to keep in mind when training on, what can be, a very complex and potentially diffcult change for healthcare professionals.

Create a safe environment

The first step to eliminating resistance begins by providing a safe learning environment.

  • Work in small groups so no one feels isolated (physician-nurse teams work best)
  • Create problems for the groups to solve together
  • Give individuals something to touch while learning (pencils/stress balls/paper clips)
  • Have a healthy snack to munch on (thinking exercises the brain and burns calories)
  • Provide plenty of fluids to drink (that can be capped to avoid spills)

Understand learning behaviors

Adults learn using a dominant sense, using either eyes (visual), ears (auditory), moving around or touching (kinesthetic/tactile). Fyi… healthcare providers tend to be visual.

  • Visual learners are usually talkers (say things like, “I see your point”)
  • Auditory learners are readers (say things like, “I hear what you’re saying”)
  • Kinesthetic learners learn by touching or acting out scenarios (say things like, “I feel we’re moving in the right direction”, tend to be your “pencil tappers”)

Allow for knowledge scanning

In traditional classrooms, adults tend to scan all information to evaluate the “easy” stuff and the difficult stuff, then go back to re-evaluate in categories.

  • Present the entire encounter/solution from start to finishfirst, then go back over each segment
  • Provide an outline/training manual before the class so attendees can prepare and be more relaxed
  • Identify the potential risks/concerns and show them where to get help

Concentrate on life applications

Create conditions and provide tools to help learners discover their “needs to know”.

  • Ask the clinicians to provide sample encounters from their own experiences
  • Allow adult learners to correct errors (“perfect” demonstrations take away problem solving opportunities)
  • Don’t be afraid of mistakes (clinicians are more confident when they can correct errors)
  • Repeat the exercise (repetition increases retention)

Organize small groups

Group learning tends to keep your clinicians engaged in the training.

  • Most adults find group learning more people centered, caring, informal, and trusting
  • These things are ingredients of change and culture management

One other good thing to keep in mind is to provide substitute clinicians to care for patients while you are training. Some interruptions will occur, but keep them to a minimum by planning ahead.

For the full article with some more details and information, visit the online version of Inside Healthcare magazine.

This post was written by

Nathan Lord is a Product Manager at ScanSource POS & Barcoding in Greenville, SC. He has 10 years of experience in distribution and is a regular contributor to The Source on healthcare, social media, and point of sale & barcoding products.

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